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Friendly Forest Products

Sleeping Giant

We were very fortunate to acquire this giant rosewood burl (dalbergia stevensonii) and even more so to get it to Miami intact.

belize river circa 1940Many bumpy miles down a dusty jungle road I found myself staring at a small number of distorted and burled rosewood logs. They were being bartered to me as repayment for a favor. The last rosewood I acquired some years ago were donated to my sculptor friends in Belize. Now here I was standing in front of the largest sound rosewood burl I had seen in years. My passion for art got the better of my judgment and I decided to keep the burl attached to it's section of the log. It must of weighed at least 600 lbs. and the crate that was made for it seemed equally as heavy and awkward to move. It barely fit into a pickup truck.

giant rosewood burl waiting to be cutOnce at the port the fun began. Very, very few places in the world will allow exportation of logs these days, and for better and worse rightly so. As the time drew near for the shipping of my lumber the prospects of getting proper clearance for the future sculpture seemed remote. Only through the diligence of a friend did final approval come, the very day we were loading my lumber on the ship. The burl made it, crate and all.

rosewood burl too big for the woodmizer sawOnce at Friendly Forest Products and out of the dust, mud and the crate we were able to scrutinize my prize more closely. The bump or burl that encircled the tree proved to be a combination of burl and carbuncle (figureless bumps). In the end there was too little burl and as a whole too small a tree for the sculpture envisioned by the potential patron. After many months of hoping, economics finally deflated my sculpture dream. So what do you do with a 800 lb. chunk of rosewood that's too small, yes it grew, or the scale changed. You cut it up! No small feat in Miami. Fortunately we found someone that was not only willing but thrilled at the prospect of being the first to see what potential beauty nature had stored within. As the day wore and we struggled to fit that tree into the confines of a 28 inch Wood Mizer our anticipation peaked, would it be a treasure or a hollow, rotten ........

rosewood burl figure is dramatic and worth the effortAs you can see by these photos it was a noble and magnificent work of nature, the ultimate artist. So as the dry season draws to an end in Latin America I am once again preparing to circuit the lumber mills in search of more lumber for our customers and perhaps yet a larger burl for the yet forthcoming sculpture..

Although this has been sold we have other fine quality burls in stock.